NORTH Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell requires surgery on his left foot at the end of the home-and-away season, but may feature in the final two games of the season, according to coach Brad Scott.

The hard-nosed midfielder was a late withdrawal from Saturday's 27-point loss to Hawthorn in Launceston.

Ziebell first injured the foot against Port Adelaide in round 17 and has been in and out of the side since as the club looks to manage his fitness to the end of the year.

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"It's likely that he'll need surgery, but it's something we're hoping we can manage him through," Scott said.

"We'll keep listening to the surgeons and medical advice and make sure we're not putting him at risk.

"If it was something that the surgeon said 'this is too much of a risk to play with, we need to operate now', that's what we'd do.

"The advice at this stage is to see how it pulls up week-to-week and hopefully we can manage it through."

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Scott would not elaborate on the exact nature of the injury, but was at pains to point out that while there was a chance Ziebell could still play an on-field role this year the surgery would be delayed.

"We've made it very clear we want to fight this season out," he said.

"He's our captain, a pretty important player, and while there's a chance he'll play, we'll hold off on surgery.

"It's not something (where) if we delay the surgery (it) will delay his pre-season. He'll be right to start pre-season if he has surgery in three weeks."

WATCH: Brad Scott's full post-match press conference

The Kangaroos were unable to stop the Hawks on the outside for large parts of the game at University of Tasmania Stadium, but Scott was pleased with his side's effort in the contest and around stoppages, particularly in the absence of clearance specialist, Ziebell.

"What is hard is to get the consistent level of effort I thought we had today for the most part," he said.

"I think that we'll take some confidence from lots of parts of the game. When you're 50 points down, away from home, at a venue Hawthorn have been very good at for a long period of time you almost think some of our young guys could turn it up a little bit. But they went the other way and got back on the front foot and kept attacking and kept the effort up around the contest.

"I think that's a sign of character."